Problems of the heart, so to speak, are ancient, universal, and have been the backbone of many great tragedies, comedies, and reality TV series the world over. Certainly, we’ve all struggled with love and relationships in our lifetimes. There’s no shortage of advice out there to heal a bruised or broken heart. But what if I told you there was a form of ritual cleansing that could help you find love?
In Mexican and Mexican-American cultures, limpias (cleansing rituals) are instrumental in not only curing what ails us spiritually but also clearing the path toward better things.
[Read: “3 Limpias to Turn Your Luck Around.”]
The three limpias detailed below will help you shed bad relationship luck and old relationship baggage, and they will help you find the emotional healing you need to bring healthy love and romance to your life. I find that people often have bad luck with love spells if they don’t clear these issues first. Even if they magically find the one they desire, old patterns repeat and they end up alone again.
In With the Bathwater: 3 Limpias for Finding Love
To keep things simple, I'll focus on a special kind of limpia called a baño. This is essentially a bath—literal and spiritual—used to cleanse away energy that is unhelpful or unhealthy.
For those who prefer a shower, I’ll be showing you how to do these in a large mason jar that you can take into the shower with you. When you do these, be sure to use your intention and focus on your desired outcome. After all, you should be an active participant in all magic.
1. A Baño to Uncross Your Love Life
If you feel there is some sort of energetic blockage, hex, spell, or even your own personal energy getting in the way of your love life, this limpia is for you.
You’ll need to gather the following dried herbs:
- Rose, the master of love
- Lemon balm to remove obstacles to love
- Agrimony, if you feel you may be hexed or cursed by another
- Hyssop, if you feel you’ve created the blockage yourself
To perform the limpia:
- Add about three large spoonfuls of each herb to a quart-sized mason jar, asking each plant to bring you the outcome you desire.
- Pour in boiling water until it reaches the top. Carefully cap the jar and let it sit. Resist the urge to shake it or handle it (remember it’s hot!) and simply let it cool to room temperature (about three hours).
- Once cooled, strain and keep the liquid.
- Add this liquid to a bath that you soak in or bring it into the shower with you to pour over yourself after your normal washing routine.
- Use your hands to scrape the excess water off yourself in a downward motion from head to toe, declaring that you are ridding yourself of the old energy and opening yourself to new possibilities.
- Towel dry as usual.
2. A Baño to Get Over a Past Love
Sometimes you can’t find love because your old one is still living inside of you. To help release yourself from an old relationship you’ll need just a few things:
- Brewed coffee or vinegar (preferably white vinegar) to sever the old connection
- Black walnut husks to banish the old love
To perform the limpia:
- If using coffee, pour it over a black walnut husk while it’s still hot and let it steep in the husk. If using vinegar, you may soak a walnut husk in it overnight. I also like to add lemon peel if I’m using vinegar because it works nicely in tandem, and lemon is great at cutting away energetic connections that are no longer healthy.
- Either way, once you’re done steeping your walnut husk, strain out the liquid, dilute with equal parts water, and use it just as you did in the shower or bath as described above.
- Rinse yourself when you are done and towel dry.
3. A Baño to Heal the Heart
Often when we have trouble with love (picking the wrong people, moving from partner to partner, trouble with commitment) it’s because there are pieces of our heart that are unhealed. This can and should be addressed with a mental health professional, but a little magic can help.
For this baño you’ll need:
- Rose to heal and protect the heart
- Chamomile to soothe and heal
- Balm of Gilead buds for healing deep heartbreak
To perform the limpia:
- Add the plants to a large mason jar with hot water and let cool (as discussed in the instructions above).
- Strain and either add it to a bath or pour it over yourself after your normal shower routine.
- Once you are done, dry yourself gently from the feet, moving upwards and finishing with your hair. As you do this, set the intention that you are drawing love for yourself, healing for your heart, and healing for your spirit up into yourself.
When to Repeat the Three Limpias
Depending on the severity of your situation, you may have to repeat these rituals to get their full effects. The best way to do so is to work with certain numbers (usually multiples of three) or a full cycle. You could try three, nine, or even twelve days in a row if you’re really feeling a need for it. If you want to use a cycle, you may use any marker that has a beginning and an end, such as every day for a full week. If you feel you need extra help, you could repeat a baño every day for a whole month, an entire moon phase, or even a year, but that is not generally necessary.
[Read: “The Spiritual Meaning of Moon Phases.”]
You may also mix and match by doing the baño to help you get over a past love for a few days or a cycle, and then follow that up with the baño to heal the heart. Just remember to give yourself time to heal. You can’t magic your way out of a grieving period—you must feel it first, and then, when you’re ready, you may work to heal and move forward.
For more information about limpias, please check out my book, American Brujeria: Modern Mexican American Folk Magic, as well as the work of Erika Buenaflor, particularly Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo.
Are you dealing with a loss? Try these ten ways to practice mindful grieving.